Do Castor Oil Packs Really Work?
Written by: Marisol Teijeiro N.D. (inactive)
Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Est. reading time: 16 minutes.
They Are Making a Comeback!
Castor Oil Packs are a legendary self-care practice that date back to ancient times. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Indian Ayurveda, Ancient Egyptians and Mediterraneans all used Castor Oil for its rejuvenating wellness and beauty aspects.
It is even mentioned in the Bible as the oil that anoints! The plant has been given the special name of the ‘Palm of Christ’. The oil and the packs have been around forever and will forever be a part of the alternative and natural wellness world.
How do Castor Oil Packs Work?
1. Castor Oil Packs May Help you Feel Good and Relax
Who doesn’t want to be relaxed, feel good and feel pleasure? Like the pleasure you feel after an amazing fatty meal1, right?
Castor Oil Packs are well known to help relax the body. By applying the pack on the body, most commonly the liver area underneath the right ribcage, you stimulate the sensory receptors in the human hairy skin. This sends a message via the somatovisceral reflexes, the fancy term for the sensory receptors on the skin, to the organs inside the body.
The corresponding organs that may be affected are the liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, kidney and adrenals. Because the stimulus is soft to the touch and pleasurable2, it moves your body into the relaxed state from the stressed state.
Studies show that stimulation of the skin lights up the areas of the brain exactly as they do with pleasurable, dopamine-stimulating fatty meals. Big difference though, the Castor Oil Pack for Liver is much gentler than an excessively fatty meal!
I call these packs the escape button for the nervous system, like on your computer, and the science of physioneurology proves it.
They are great because they are non-invasive and so beneficial to overall wellness. You could say it’s almost like giving your body a great big hug3 and you get the same benefits from it.
Because of this aspect you want to make sure that you are using good quality, luxurious, organic cotton flannel that is soft to the touch. The sensory receptors identify the soft sensation as pleasurable which promotes the relaxed state. The pack is just as important as the oil. If you use the oil on your body without the pack, you will lose the majority of the relaxation benefit.
Why does being relaxed matters?
When you are relaxed you can heal, your digestive system produces all of its juices with ease, like digestive enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid and immune factors4. Most important is that your so called “leaky gut” is a response to living in a stressed-out state. In the relaxed state, stimulated by a Castor Oil Pack, you regain your gut integrity5 6 7.
This means that all the supplements and organic food that you are taking, may absorb even better if you are using Castor Oil Packs. They help support digestion so that all the pills and potions you take will help supercharge your life.
In the relaxed state is also where your body can cleanse, detox and simply clean up the junk that is in your system. When your body is in the stressed state, all of these functions go on maintenance mode instead of enhanced mode. Move your body into the relaxed state with a Castor Oil Pack and you have the recipe for successful cleansing and detox.
A cool practical application of these Castor Oil Packs that I have seen in practice, is for health nuts just like me that love to do regular cleanses.
When you do these packs during a cleanse, you may AVOID the dreaded cleansing symptoms like headaches, skin irritation, moodiness, joint/muscle aches and pains. The mechanism of action here is this, when you are stressed and running away from say, a tiger who is going to eat you, your blood is flowing to the extremities and to your brain.
Similarly, if you do a cleanse while in the stressed state, the toxins that you are trying to eliminate from your body will flow to your extremities, causing aches and pains, and to your brain, giving you headaches and moodiness.
It’s physiology 101, in the stressed state your blood hemodynamics feed the extremities to get you away from the predator to survive, in the relaxed state your blood flows to your internal organs allowing you to digest, cleanse and reset. If you want to supercharge your cleanses and make it easy on you and those around you, ALWAYS do a Castor Oil Pack for support.
Even better, retraining your nervous system daily to switch into the relaxed state helps you to optimize your life, in general, since you will become more resilient to stress of all types. These days we need it. So make Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil Packs® a daily self-care ritual for life. You won’t want to stop.
2. Castor Oil May Help With Pain & Inflammation
Where there is inflammation; there is sickness, toxicity and overall distress in the body.
Let’s face it, as humans we run from pain and move towards pleasure. How does the Castor Oil Pack stimulate pleasure and help balance inflammation at the same time?
The chemical structure of ricinoleic acid, the main component of this ‘magical’ Castor Oil, is similar in structure to prostaglandins in our bodies that reduce inflammation. To put this into context, when you take a fish oil supplement, you take it because it provides you with these prostaglandins that may help reduce inflammation all over your body.
Castor Oil is similar, although we don’t take it orally for this effect, we use it as a pack on our bodies to help support inflammation.
A study shows that it may help reduce Substance P in the body8 ,that is a chemical messenger involved in the sensation of pain.
Inflammation in your body equals retention of water. Inflammation is basically a fire that burns in the body with the purpose of creating destruction in order to recreate, renew and heal. Inflammation is purposeful and it can be healthy. However, many cases of inflammation get out of control and result only in destruction.
Firefighters use water to control a fire, so does your body. With an inflamed intestine and gut, the body will hold water in the abdominal area to decrease the irritation. This leads to excess weight in your abdomen, the so called central obesity or in layman’s terms, the “beer belly”.
Castor Oil Packs may help balance inflammation in the abdomen, so that you can work towards that flat belly you are dreaming of.
3. Castor Oil May Help Preserve Your Master Cleansing Agent – Glutathione
If you haven’t heard of glutathione, this is what you need to know. Glutathione is a powerhouse molecule that pulls and helps with elimination of most (if not all), if not all, toxic substances from the body including the dreaded heavy metals.
Glutathione is worth its weight in gold and it is priceless for a healthy body. The problem is that most of us are running on empty. We have used up our stores of glutathione because we have been bombarded with chemicals and pesticides of all types since the industrial revolution in the early 1900s.
Glutathione is also difficult to recycle naturally in our bodies and there are very few sources from our food. Some food sources are whey protein (which I don’t prefer because it can be mucous-forming) or rooibos tea, which I personally love and always enjoy drinking on cleanses.
You can also take glutathione supplementally, via intravenous (IV) infusion or oral capsules. The latter of these isn’t necessarily the best absorbed and there is controversy about whether or not it is worth it to take glutathione orally.
Enter Castor Oil! A recent research study demonstrated that glutathione was increased in rat ocular lenses when they were placed in Castor Oil, greater than in the ocular lenses placed in actual glutathione9 solution! Amazing, right?
We’ve known for eons that Castor Oil Packs aided in cleansing and detoxification but we weren’t sure exactly why. This eludes to the benefits of Castor Oil far beyond what we comprehended. This mystical oil is still surprising us and I’d bet there is more to come.
4. Castor Oil Packs May Help You Poo
We all love a great poo. In fact there is nothing more pleasurable than poo, well perhaps a great orgasm! When we don’t poo frequently enough, we are recirculating in our bodies the junk that needs to come out. This builds our toxic load and predisposes us to problems like excess cholesterol, hormone imbalances and much more.
Castor Oil has been shown to stimulate smooth muscle contraction via the prostaglandin EP3 receptors of the body10. Smooth muscle is what the intestines and guts are composed of, as is the uterus.
One caution: Do not use Castor Oil Packs or Castor Oil while pregnant. It is unknown but it could possibly cause movement of the smooth muscle of the uterus, enough to terminate the pregnancy. Work with your knowledgeable practitioner on this one.
Cleanliness is next to godliness and keeping your bowels moving and regular keeps you happier, healthier and in tune with your body. Instead of using laxatives, a Castor Oil Pack may help! A study done in an old age home shows that it may work just as well, and is a lot gentler on your system11.
5. Castor Oil May Support a Balanced Microbiome, Happy Gut, and Biofilm Breakdown
Having a healthy microbiome has massive implications for your overall health. Benefits include:
– Balanced mood
– Good bowel movements
– Reduced abdominal pain including bloating and gas
– Reduced physical inflammation
– Improvement of auto-immune and hormonal problems
And the list goes on and on. A healthy microbiome is the one major determinant of your overall health.
Probiotics vs Conbiotics
A very common issue for many people is overpopulation of bad gut bugs, or as I call them, “conbiotics”. They are con artists that take up residency in your gut and steal space from the good guys known as “probiotics”.
Probiotics do great things for your body. They produce B vitamins and byproducts like butyrate which help to keep the gut really healthy.
The conbiotics just wreak havoc. They can produce a protective layer called biofilm to keep them from being terminated. Biofilm can be so strong that it is almost impossible to kill off these conbiotics. If you are able to break down the biofilm then you have a much better chance of getting them out of your body and restoring the peace.
Castor Oil is one of very few natural substances that may help break down this barrier, along with chemical biofilm breakers like sodium hypochlorite12. The probiotics you are taking may actually work better and provide you with super health if you are able to get rid of biofilm in your gut. Wow, you save money and feel better faster!
Now that you know the potential positives of practicing a Castor Oil Pack regularly, it just makes sense to do it. These are all things that many of us are spending thousands of dollars to achieve. The Castor Oil Pack may help enhance all of the treatments, supplements and self-care tools that you are currently using. It’s your best next step to wellness.
Castor Oil Pack FAQs
“1. How does Castor Oil get through the skin?
The active component of Castor Oil is ricinoleic acid. Castor Oil is composed approximately of 75-85% of this fatty acid. It has a molecular weight of 298 daltons. In dermatological medicine there is what is called the 500 Dalton Rule. Substances that are below 500 daltons can permeate through the lower layer of the epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin. It may then go deeper, into the dermis, that contains the blood and lymphatic vessels.
These are the superhighways of the body, transporting medicinal substances like Castor Oil into the body. Compression also helps to put tension on the skin, facilitating its deep penetration. So using the pack is a very important part of the practice.
2. Do you need to use heat?
Heat isn’t necessary. Used as a modality in natural medicine, heat slows things down, so depending on your bowel function you can use it appropriately. If you go to the bathroom too much, adding heat may help to slow things down. If you don’t go enough, let your own natural body heat do the job. If you have your period, heat may help to relax the uterine spasms. Heat has been shown to only speed up the elimination of metabolites and not the rate of liver detoxification13.
3. Should I use Castor Oil Packs during my period?
Yes, you can! In fact, it may help with reduction of pain and cramping associated with your period. The concern was that the Castor Oil Pack would make you bleed more. This is not the case, you will bleed what you have to bleed independent of the pack. However, if it’s your first time EVER doing a Castor Oil Pack, wait until your period is over. After regular usage there is no issue doing it during your period.
4. Why Castor Oil Packs are so messy?
“I don’t want to do them”! You no longer have this excuse my friends. That’s exactly why I created the Queen of the Thrones®️ Castor Oil Pack for Liver, to make it a simple 2-step process instead of a 12 step ordeal. The Queen of the Thrones®️ Castor Oil Pack attaches onto your body for ease of use, and the outer “less mess” layer makes them less messy than the traditional way. Eventually your pack will leak, so always wear an old T-shirt overtop.
5. How do I wash my Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack?
Before 1st use, you may want to wash your new pack as recent research from the National Institute of Health shows that even organic materials may contain traces of chemicals via packaging, transportation and warehousing17. But luckily, washing was shown to significantly reduce or even eliminate these chemicals completely.
It’s like when you buy your produce, you always wash it first, right? Even if it’s organic! Same rule should apply to the clothing and fabrics you place on your body. This is an unwritten rule, especially for people with extra sensitive skin – trace chemical residues may cause mild reactions.
A new pack can be hand washed or machine washed with natural detergent and laid flat to dry. However, once you have started adding oil to your pack, it’s best NOT to wash it. Washing an oily pack may lead to oil sticking to the outer “less mess” layer of the pack, making it messier and decreasing its natural lifecycle.
6. How often do I need to replace my Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack?
Things don’t last forever, but in general, with daily usage your pack should last 2-3 months. For those who care for it well or use less frequently, longer.
7. When is the best time to do the Castor Oil Packs?
There really is no best time, but it is best to do it DAILY! Before bed is ideal because they may help relax your body and promote an amazing sleep.
8. How long do I wear my Queen of The Thrones® Castor Oil Packs for?
Wear your Castor Oil Pack for a minimum of 1 hour each day, or ideally overnight.
9. What kind of material should I use for my Castor Oil Pack?
Using organic cotton, wool or linen for the side that touches your skin is ideal. Otherwise materials may contain brominated flame retardants that are hormone14, nervous and immune system disrupting15 16. The Queen of The Thrones® Castor Oil Pack is made with organic cotton and an outer less mess layer that is thermally bonded (a cleaner alternative to chemical bonding) to a middle layer of organic cotton.
10. Why Should I buy my Castor Oil in a glass bottle and organic?
Castor Oil is a carrier substance. In a plastic bottle, Castor Oil may grab onto the chemicals in plastic and bring them into your body. All oils should be in a glass bottle if you are using them into your body. Organic is simply better because it is produced cleaner and has had less exposure to chemicals and pesticides.
11. How much Castor Oil do I use per application?
Always start fresh and apply 1 tbsp of Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil in the center of the pack with each use.
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Click here for references
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